Monday, May 31, 2010

To Explore Strange New Worlds

This weekend I visited a strange new world. It was not completely foreign. It was just a shade different from the one I already know. This weekend I chauferred my oldest son to the Regional Pokemon Video Game Championship Tournament. This was a real event. I had no idea it existed. I had no idea so many people took Pokemon so seriously. Several of them were in costume. A few came as "teams".

I waited in a line with Daniel for two hours so that he could register. About half that time we were waiting outside in the heat. Fortunately, it was only in the 80's, still hot enough that we felt quite grateful to be inside. If you are not too shy, it is possible to make a new friend when you stand in line for two hours. Daniel started up a couple of games with a couple of the kids near us. I was impressed. He has mentioned before how hard it is for him to make friends. I suppose if you start with at least one thing in common it is easier to strike up a conversation. After it was all over the girl (she was cute) asked Daniel for his email.

Daniel won the first round he played. He lost the second round. I'm sure he was a little disappointed, but he took it very well. Later he told me that he had fun and that it was all right if he didn't win. There was a guy next to him in the second round that didn't take defeat very well. He started crying. Daniel tried to offer some words of comfort to no avail. On our way out we spotted that guy crumpled in the floor. Daniel's thoughts on that, "You know, I take my Pokemon seriously, but that's a little TOO serious."

My son is so cool. I'm so glad that he could go and fun with this. I'm so glad that he has such a healthy view of it. Meet friends. Play game. Have fun. That's what it was all about. Winning would have been awesome, but it wasn't the most important thing.

Monday, May 17, 2010


It's been a funny week and I so needed a laugh.

Last Saturday, Hannah went to Medieval Times with her Girl Scout troop. She had a wonderful time. Sarah went with me to pick Hannah up. We got to hear Hannah tell us all about how awesome and wonderful it was and she had to go again. I asked Sarah if she would like to go to Medieval Times.

"No," she says in no uncertain terms. "Fashion girls don't go to that place. And I am SO fashion." Then she takes her little hands and one at a time flips back her hair. I nearly wrecked. One of those times that I wish I had a video camera on constant record.

I think she might actually like to go to "that place". She might still be mad at Hannah. Hannah was trying to turn the lamp off at bedtime and Sarah did not want it off. There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It ended with Sarah telling Hannah, "You are so mean. You used to be nice to me. Let me sleep in your bed and leave the lamp on and play with me. Hannah. You RUINED my life!"

I think the best one this week was Joe at the dinner table:

"When I grow up, I want to drink, smoke and eat sushi."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Went Wrong With That Recipe

I come from a family of wonderful cooks. From Gramma I learned good, down home cookin'. Lots of fried things, beans and cornbread, veggies from the garden, wild onions scrambled with eggs, pot roast with carrots and potatoes and the staple of every southern table: gravy. Mom made all these things, too. She is a wiz on the grill and makes fabulous desserts. The desserts are not neccessarily cooked on the grill, but they are full of fat and sugar, as all desserts should be. Good eats are not confined to the womenfolk. My dad is pretty handy in the kitchen. Everytime we visit, I look forward to breakfast. And try as I might, I just can't get cabbage rolls that are the same class.

It took me awhile, but I did eventually learn to cook well enough to hold my own. My first attempts were...uh.....interesting. Gravy is a fairly simple thing to make. All you need in fat, flour, and a liquid - milk for white gravy and broth for brown. It is simple, but not easy. There is a delicate balance to getting the proportions just right. The first time I made gravy it was thick. Very, very thick. So thick, in fact, that it could be sliced. I've had other culinary failures that I just don't remember as well. Probably because they just as funny as slice-able gravy.

Sometimes I hear people tell me that they are a terrible cook. I never used to believe them. Probably because my mother and grandmother were severe about their own cooking. No matter how completely delicious a meal was, something could always be better. I had a roommate who told me when we first met that she was a terrible cook. I didn't believe her. One Sunday after we came home from church, she started cooking for a potluck dinner we were attending that evening. I laid down for an afternoon nap to the delicious odours of ground beef and onion cooking. I woke-up to something completely different. She had made this casserole thing. Cheese and crackers and who know what else were in there somewhere. It looked solid and somewhat rubbery. This particular roommate wasn't going to the potluck. My other roommates and I were commisioned to take the thing with us. We did. No one and I mean absolutely no one ate it. We ended up depositing it in a dumpster on our way home. Since then, I believe people when they tell me the can't cook.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Were Your Shoes?

A few weeks ago I taught a lesson to the Beehives on journals. While preparing the lesson I found a website that has a daily writing prompt. This was the first one. I love it. I ask a similar question to my kids almost every day. It is a constant struggle to keep up with shoes. More accurately we seem to have much trouble finding matching pairs of shoes. We are quite able to find shoes of all sorts in every corner of our home. It is entirely different matter to find two of a kind.

Sunday mornings are sometimes hectic. There always seems to be a mad dash out the door as we try desperately to not be late for church. One particular Sabbath, I didn't have time to inspect the kids as we rushed out. I remember seeing Joseph's bare feet and telling him that he could put his shoes on in the car. We arrived and I began to help everyone out. Joseph was still without anything on his feet.

"Joseph. Put your shoes on."

"I don't have any shoes."

"Where are your shoes?"

"I left them at home."

Since then, we lay out our church clothes (and shoes!) the night before and I make sure I do an inspection, no matter how late we are.

There was a time when I rarely wore shoes. It was simply more comfortable to be without. College graduation I didn't put on my shoes until I absolutely, positively had to. I had a pair of strappy sandals that I kept under my robe, but not on my feet. Graduation ceremonies were held in the football stadium. That grass was so fresh and soft and squishy. It was heaven for my feet. I did finally put them on when it was time to walk across the stage. I didn't really want to wear them, but I didn't want to embarrass Molly. (Molly Risso was director of theatre.)

I still don't like shoes. Most times it doesn't really bother me if my kids don't want to wear them. I've even read that it is better to go barefoot. However, it does bother me when we can't find them when they are wanted. Sometimes you just have to have them. Actually, I need my shoes right now and I can't find them.

Stupid shoes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day - late, I know, I know.

Happy Mother's Day. It's been a quiet day. I didn't sleep much last night, but Jacob and I took a lovely, long nap this afternoon. Kermit fixed breakfast. I had a nice soak in a very hot bath with only one interruption. The kids made cards. Elizabeth's was a mini-book about us walking to the mailbox. Hannah's said that I am special because I love her. Joseph's was a depiction of his older brother's demise. Jacob and Sarah only had one fight about whose momma I am. It was a nice mostly quiet day.

It's obvious that Mother's Day brings thoughts of..well...Mom. I wish that I could have done more for mother this year (I wish the same thing every year). That is the down side of living far away and having no money. It would've been nice to be able to at least send flowers or a gift card for photo supplies. A visit would have even been better. We haven't been to visit since Christmas. I like spending time with my family and my mom can be fun.

No child really appreciates their mother until they are out of the house. When I was younger, I was a little bit afraid of my mother. She had a temper. I always said, "When I have kids, I'll NEVER loose my temper." Ha. I lost my temper first and then my sanity. I can't say that I'm glad that I discovered that I was more like Mom than I thought, but I can understand.

Another thing I didn't really like when I was a kid was chores. Seriously, what kid really likes chores? I was certain that they were a form of torture. Not until I grew up was I glad for what I learned about the value of work. I'm still in awe of how organized my mother is. She's fabulous. I try, but can't quite get to her level. I always feel like my own efforts are just pretending and I sense the chaos waiting at the edges to take over.

I learned to love reading from my grandmother, but I learned to love Star Trek from my mom. Everytime the reruns would come on, we were watching. When the first Star Trek movie came out we were standing in a line that wrapped around the movie theatre. I attended my first Star Trek convention with my mom and my little brother. We met George Takei! It was so cool.

Actually, we watched a lot of movies together. I remember watching "The Champ". We cried our eyes out. Every Friday night, one of the local channels would play a classic monster movie. I love that my mom spent that time with me. The memory of those times still warm my heart.

I think I should also mention that my mom has a great laugh, she is a fabulous cook, and she likes to dance. I have a great mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Danger Dogs

Jacob and Sarah were playing puppy dogs. That is the game where you pretend to be a puppy. You run on all fours like a puppy. You drink like a puppy. You bark like a puppy. It's fun for them. It's kind of fun to watch them. Except for this last time. According to Sarah, Jacob doesn't know how to play this game very well. He slipped while running like a puppy and we think he broke his arm. Yippee.

I spent three hours at the hospital with him. There is a lot of waiting at the hospital. Although, this wasn't as much waiting as when he broke his leg. The physician's assistant looked at the x-rays and couldn't find anything. The doctor on duty looked at the x-rays and couldn't find anything. They told me that the radiologist would be back in the morning. I could call and find out what he had determined. Jacob's arm was splinted and we left.

The next day, I call the the orthopedic doctor. It will be a week before Jacob can be seen. Kermit talked to the radiologist. He couldn't say anything definitive. So, Jacob's arm, that may or may not be broken, is splinted for a week until we get to see the bone doctor, who may not know anything either. AAUUUGGHHH!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Flying Monkey of Doom Strikes Again


For anyone that has read my previous post about the Flying Monkey of Doom, you'll appreciate this.

Daniel walks into Kermit's office.

"Hey, Dad, Joseph threw his derby car into the burn pile." (We live in the country. We have a brush pile waiting for a match.)

"Why did he do that?"

"He's mad because Jacob threw the car at him and hit him in the eye. So, now he's decided to burn it."

"Tell him to come here a minute."

Joseph walks into Kermit's office.

"Joe, you want to tell me what happened?"

"Well, Jacob threw my car at me and it hit me in the eye and I don't want him to get it again, so, I just threw it into the burn pile."

"So, what you're telling me is that you got taken out by a Flying Monkey?"

"Uh. Yeah."


And the moral of this tale is, be careful of your actions. They just might come back to whack you in the head.